(NEW YORK) -- The extract of the kudzu root was already known to be helpful in treating alcohol abuse, but now a study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests it can be used to decrease binge drinking.
Twelve men were given either kudzu extract or a placebo for nine days, then they were given a set amount of alcohol to drink. Those who had taken the kudzu extract had increased heart rate, elevated blood alcohol levels, and reported greater levels of dizziness compared to those who had taken the placebo.
The authors don't know why the kudzu caused blood alcohol levels to rise, but they think they've found out why people drink less after taking kudzu. They may feel the effects of the alcohol more quickly. In other words, getting drunk faster may actually reduce how much you end up drinking-- a conclusion even the authors admit is " counter-intuitive."
Still, they say kudzu extract could help manage binge drinking, which could promote complete alcohol withdrawal along with other treatments.
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